This is the recipe of a dear aunt who shared it with all the children in the village. Since childhood, the recipe has been used to create the most wonderful gift for neighbors and friends that gives a little taste of yesteryear. It isn’t stuffed with cream or expensive ingredients, but is a recipe that uses humble everyday ingredients to create a very tasty truffle. For those who do not or cannot drink alcohol, the same recipe applies though without adding alcohol.

With the variety of toppings that you can get in the supermarkets, each truffle looks individual and inviting, though before starting to gather ingredients, do stop and think about presentation. Cellophone on a roll will be necessary for the packaging and small containers, so look out for these all the year round so that when Christmas comes, you are ready to wrap up the truffles for gifts. Old tinsel that is no longer good enough for the tree can be used to tie up these packages and make them look professional.

For the actual recipe, the ingredients may seem a little complex to an American, but they really are not that difficult for Americans to purchase. Golden Syrup is a standard item in most British households, and is available on, making one ingredient less difficult to find. As you only use a small amount of this, your tin of Golden Syrup will last you a few Christmases, so it won’t be money wasted.

Ingredients needed

2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
4 ounzes of butter
1 Tablespoon of cocao powder
A 12 inch rich butter sponge cake
Three bars of cooking chocolate

Alternative ingredient: Brandy or Whiskey in small quantities.

The kind of toppings which can be used are items you will find on the baking counter in the supermarket. Crushed nuts, coconut, grated chocolate, chocolate vermicelli and the like are ideal.

The process of making the truffles

You will need two large sauce pans. One will be used for the mix, while the other will simply be used as a bain marie for the chocolate. Half fill one sauce pan with water and place a Pyrex or heat proof dish into the water so that water heats the dish. Break the chocolate into the dish to melt. Once the water reaches boiling point, turn it down to simmer while the chocolate melts.

At the same time, melt the butter into the second sauce pan and add the Golden Syrup and cocoa powder. Mix well until it forms a consistent sauce which is not boiling. Turn off the heat.

Take the cake and crumble it into the mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until the liquid is all absorbed by the cake crumbs. The consistency should be thick enough to roll out so that the cake no longer shows. If adding alcohol, add it at this stage. A tablespoon of brandy or whiskey will add to the taste.

At this stage, wash your hands thoroughly while allowing the mixture to cool a little.

Take a loaded teaspoon of the mixture into your hand and roll it into a ball. It should roll easily but will need placing onto a plate when rolled. Continue to roll out the truffles because at this stage it is important that the truffles are rolled while the butter is still melted. Once all of the truffles have been rolled into small balls, soak the pan in cool water.

Place the truffles into the fridge for a little while to harden.

Adding the chocolate and toppings

This is a messy procedure, but kids love it. If you are working with children, take the initiative or you will find chocolate will get spilled and hands will get excessively dirty. Place each topping onto a saucer and place a teaspoon next to it to encourage children to use a spoon rather than their hands.

Dip each of the truffles into the melted chocolate and then onto the chosen saucer. Roll the truffle so that the coating is even and place this into a paper case or onto a clean plate or tray. Continue to coat up all of the truffles adding the toppings and setting them to one side until they are all done.

There are always leftover ingredients and at this point you can decide if you want to make another batch or whether this is sufficient. If you have enough truffles, put the excess ingredients away for another day.

Wrapping the truffles

The kind of wrapping that looks nice is easy to achieve. Use small foil dishes or you may even find some Christmas dishes in the supermarket which are suitable to hold about six assorted truffles. Place these into the dishes. Cut a piece of cellophane which is twice the size of the diameter of the dish to that the cellophane can be gathered at the top. Use cellotape to keep the paper in place and then add a little Christmas glitter or offcut of tinsel. Let the children try individual wrappings such as this and add their own decorative touches. Grandma will love these. If you know how to use wrapping tape and then curl the ends, this looks rather good.

The secret of Aunt Lottie’s recipe is taking the time and adding the finishing touches. Alternative cake can be used, as she used old fruit cake and this made a delightful truffle with a little twist because the fruit laced with alcohol really did taste nice. Once you add your own secret ingredients to the truffles, you really will find they become a family favorite every Christmas.